Go Take a Walk
Speaking of walking 30 minutes a day, did you know a half-hour walk can burn up to 300 calories? That might not sound like much, but over the course of a year, it can make a big difference. Walking is a low-impact exercise, meaning it’s easier on your joints. The benefits of physical activity depend on three elements: intensity, duration, and frequency. Because walking is less intensive than running, you’ll have to walk for longer periods to get the same results.
Anytime you get your heart rate up, you’re doing your body a favor. Exercise makes the heart beat faster, and over time, strengthens the heart. Cardiovascular exercise improves blood circulation and can help with your mood. Find a good podcast or audiobook or invite a friend to take a walk around the block after work.
You Can’t Outrun Your Fork
There are approximately 3,500 calories in a pound. That means to lose or gain a pound, you have to burn or consume an additional 3,500 calories. Over the holidays, most of us probably overindulged a bit. Don’t worry. Slips don’t become falls in your overall health journey when you choose to get back on track.
Something I did last year that had a big impact, but felt very manageable, was to eliminate one bad eating habit each month throughout the year. For January, I gave up all soda. In February, I stopped eating donuts and bagels. In March, I made sure to eat at least two servings of vegetables for lunch and dinner. Pretty soon, I started to see results, and because it was a gradual replacement of bad foods with good ones, I found I had more energy and felt better.
Keep a food journal as you make your new year changes. Write down all of your meals and snacks. Be honest. When you examine your diet, you’ll see areas where you can improve and be able to celebrate the smart decisions you’ve made.